our kids have been fascinated by bats for a long time! when we were in australia earlier this year, we were able to watch this huge cloud of bats for several nights on hamilton island as they’d wake up and leave the trees, and then watch them fly around catching insects with the moon as their backdrop. it was super cool to see in person and something our family has talked about a lot since. i think shortly after that, we bought an episode of wild kratts about bats, which became a favorite and prompted a lot of pretending to be bats and bat pet store games when they would ask us to buy them as pet bats.
fast forward to a couple weeks ago when josh took the kids to the american museum of natural history where they had a live bat encounter. they got there early and were able to sit in the front row and see three different bats up close and meet a bat expert name rob mies. after learning all about the bats, eleanor came home with her little button that said “save the bats!” and proceeded to tell anyone who would listen over the course of the next few weeks about how they were in danger and how she wanted to help them, because “i love bats!” she would say all day long, “and they’re disappearing because white nose is growing on them when they are hibernating!” samson mostly latched onto the fact that bats eat mosquitos and since we really dislike those things over here, he was just as passionate as eleanor to help them out. ;) and they also related this to saving the bees, because some bats are really important pollinators too for food like bananas, one of their favorite fruits. i mean, how would they eat their smoothies?! ;)
on the way home from the museum, the little wheels in her brain were already turning. she asked all on her own if she could make a lemonade stand for the bats! it was the sweetest thing ever. since it’s november and kind of cold, we wanted to support her and suggested a hot chocolate stand instead. she was so excited. so we helped the kids put together a little hot chocolate stand on election day morning since they didn’t have school. i thought they’d maybe last 20 minutes and we’d call it good, but we were there for almost two hours and even then the kids didn’t want to leave and kept asking to stay! i am so glad it was a happy positive experience for them.
**several people have asked for me to share my thoughts on the election for president here in the united states. i do not discuss politics on this site because it pretty much always ends up with fighting and bullying, and i work hard for this space to be as uplifting as possible for everyone who visits. that said, i do think with everything going on in the world and in our country at the moment, one of the best things each of us can do is teach and encourage each other – and our kids – to be good and kind and honest and loving people, and also to be good and kind and honest and loving citizens. i firmly believe so much of what we stand for and who we become starts in our homes, so i hope that is something i am able to help nurture and encourage in my own little ones. and all of us can find opportunities to do the same. helping our own kids do this hot chocolate stand to #savethebats is just one way josh and i have tried to teach them about what it means to be a good citizen in our neighborhood, our country, and our world. it was the perfect activity for election day this year!
watch the video above! and more photos, below….
josh snapped this photo a couple weeks ago right after their morning at the museum for the live bat encounter on the day before halloween!
you see it in the little video, but eleanor and samson made all of the posters and signs for their hot chocolate stand!
it was also a good lesson in simple math! ;)
also, my sister hannah took this photo with her new iPhone 7 plus and did you know that thing has a built-in portrait lens?! i had no idea but all the photos she was snapping on her iPhone were blowing my mind.
best baby brother ever showing his support by downing one too many cups of hot chocolate! he knows good stuff when he sees it!
i am so proud of eleanor and samson (and conrad who pretty much just consumed several cups of hot cocoa to show his support) for wanting to help the bats and for finding a small way to make a big difference. i think kids by nature have such an innocence and do-good spirit about them, and it teaches me a lot, quite often.
i am so thankful to all their little friends and their parents who came out to show support and also to all the kind new yorkers, many of whom didn’t even want hot chocolate but still showed support by stopping and donating and talking to eleanor and samson about their cause as they walked by, because it meant so much to them and really went a long way.
eleanor and samson raised $104 dollars and donated all of it to the organization for bat conservation online later that day. thanks again to everyone who helped them accomplish this!